Behind the Mic: Matt Hoffman & Anthony Reclusado

Matt Hoffman and Anthony Reclusado pose in the Student Union at SDSU.

When people hear “the face of KCR,” they might think of KCR’s logo or the events KCR takes part in or puts on. But, members of KCR, some who have been around for years, probably think of General Manager Matt Hoffman and Programming Director Anthony Reclusado as the face of the organization. Members of KCR for nearly four years now, the roommates have held their management positions for half of that time and have greatly contributed to the radio station. I caught up with Matt and Anthony before their graduation for the last Behind the Mic of the spring semester. 

The pair made their debut on KCR in spring 2014 with “Delay of Game,” a show they have had on-air up to their final days as seniors. Anthony told me that during the fall semester of 2013, they contributed to “Aztec Circle,” a group sports show on KCR, because the two joined halfway through the semester and weren’t given their own time on-air.

Since beginning “Delay of Game,” Anthony explained that they have localized their sports coverage to San Diego. Listeners would have heard nearly an hour of Padres, Chargers, Gulls and Aztecs coverage every week. Matt described a headline segment, “Quick Shots,” that concluded each show. During this short period, Matt and Anthony would bring up national sports headlines and break them down, giving their opinions.

Prior to the move, each show began with the Chargers, with Aztec Football quickly following. Game recaps, injury reports and other player news all made up the usual discussions.

“We shoot for quality and consistency — that’s why the show is still here seven semesters later,” Matt explained. Anthony added that dedication made their show stand out, with Matt giving an example of a basketball ticket giveaway they conducted on-air a few years ago, requiring the two to wake up at 4 a.m. to stand in line for the tickets.

Matt and Anthony holding awards in the KCR studio.

KCR has won an array of awards while Matt and Anthony have served on management. Photo by Amir Badeanlo.

Matt has served as General Manager of KCR for two years, and prior to that (as a sophomore) he was Program Director. According to Matt, he spent the summer between management positions renovating the KCR studio. He collaborated with iHeartMedia to construct the current studio, which has professional equipment and safer furniture. “It all helps with the professionalism,” Anthony added.

The following summer, Matt worked to open a second studio: the production studio in the basement of EBA.

The culture of KCR has totally changed since their freshman year, according to both Anthony and Matt. “As soon as that studio changed, everything else changed,” added Anthony.

“It’s a lot bigger than it probably has ever been,” said Matt, referencing the sheer size of KCR’s current membership.

Matt described how amazing it is to see members of KCR, past and present, earn internships and obtain positions in the media industry, noting that KCR was the starting point for many. Getting people interested in radio has been one of Matt’s responsibilities. He mentioned current Production Director at KCR, Jack Sellas, as an example. Jack became an active member, obtained a management position and is now looking at radio as a potential career.

“KCR will always be a part of my life,” said Anthony.

Matt currently works as a news assistant at KPBS, where he also covers on-air stories. Additionally, Matt is a writer and producer for the morning shows at NBC 7 San Diego. After his upcoming graduation in May, Matt plans on working full-time at NBC.

Anthony has worked with Matt as Program Director for two years. During his senior year, Anthony served as Sports Editor for The Daily Aztec. He currently interns at FOX 5 San Diego, and will move back to the Bay Area after graduation to continue his media career. 

Featured Image: Matt Hoffman and Anthony Reclusado are preparing for their graduation in May and departure from KCR. Photo by Amir Badeanlo.

Sundays Are for Coffee Shops

Sundays are either for relaxing or catching up on all the homework you put off until the last minute. Usually going with the latter, I’ve picked up a Sunday routine that has made my pile of work look less daunting – studying at coffee shops. In a perfect world, I’d wake up at the crack of dawn, eat a healthy breakfast, hit the gym and tackle my assignments by the afternoon. But, in reality, I wake up in the afternoon. I’ve come to realize that just because I get a late start (usually a really late start) to my day, doesn’t mean that I have to waste the rest of it! I’ve always loved studying in coffee shops, so I was lucky enough to find the perfect one only a few weeks into my first semester of college. As second semester is slowly getting the best of me, I’ve spent a good chunk of my time at:

Communal Coffee 

2335 University Ave

San Diego, CA 92104

I always like to start my Sundays at Communal Coffee. I’m not a big coffee fanatic, but I love this coffee shop for their music, vibes and extremely nice customer service. They have amazing avocado toast and caprese toast, which becomes even better when you add egg and proscuitto. Their savory croissants with turkey and jalapeno cream cheese are definitely worth the try, too. For you non-coffee drinkers, like me, they have a cool selection of iced teas and pressed juices. If you’ve never tried lavender syrup, I completely recommend adding it to your drink – it’s delicious! Try their toast flight, which has avocado and egg, caprese and lavender honey. 

I also like studying at Communal Coffee because of their layout. The coffee shop has a backroom full of tables, bar-style seating and a bench tabletop by the window. Whenever it gets too busy inside, you can take your drink and homework outside to their outdoor tables. I love how the minimalistic decorations and bright, natural lighting makes the coffee shop look open; it creates a positive, happy atmosphere. Communal Coffee has become my favorite place to study because I always manage to get into work mode right away!

Not only are they a coffee shop, but they’re also an in-store floral boutique. Besides flowers, you can pick up candles, cards and knick-knacks. They also share their outdoor area with North Park Nursery, which sells mini succulents for roughly $3!

Featured Image by Sabrina Kim.

A-Plus: The Spring Cleaning Tour Show Review

 

 

The show itself was an experience like no other. A-Plus lyrical fluidity and classic, boom bap, hip hop beats transported me from a modern so-cal setting, to the golden age of Bay Area hip hop. Sounds dope, but who is A-Plus, you ask?

A-Plus began rapping at the age of 8 in Oakland, California. He continued honing his skills throughout his teen years, and when he reached high school he helped form the underground hip hop collective formally known as Souls of Mischief. This monumental hip hop group, consisting of A-Plus, Opio, Phesto and Tajai, made their first mark on the game in 1993 with the release of their album, “93’ till infinity.” This album was dropped under the Jive record label, but once the group deviated from the major label route, they became part of an umbrella collective known as Hieroglyphics. The collective was founded in the early ‘90s by a man known as Del the Funky Homosapien. The Hieroglyphics movement sent shockwaves throughout the Bay Area that are still felt today. Their iconic three eyed logo can be found scattered throughout various hip hop scenes, and they paved the way for a new generation of artists.

A-Plus’ success in the hip hop group circuit did not deter his ambition for solo ventures. Since the release of his last group project, A-Plus has released three solo albums. The latest was released in 2014 and is titled “Molly’s Dirty Water.”

I had the opportunity to meet up with A-Plus before the show and talk some hip hop. I first asked him about the origin of his passion for music. He went on to name the hip hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Run DMC as two groups who heavily influenced his love for hip hop. That love and passion for the genre is what A-Plus credits for his longevity in the music scene. This mindset empowered A-Plus and other like-minded individuals within his collectives to push the boundaries of underground hip hop and force the world to take notice. The Hieroglyphics movement was a vital catalyst which helped push the culture forward into where we are today. And, A-Plus respects the direction current music has gone and is grateful for having played a role in that direction. A few notable contemporary rappers who he enjoys are Joey Badass, Anderson Paak and Kendrick Lamar. In regards to where A-Plus himself is today, he is still going around the country doing what he loves: making music and putting on shows. The tour he is currently on is called the Spring Cleaning Tour and features other notable artists, such as Knobody and J. Lately, all supported by the spinning skills of DJ Nocturnal.

The Show

A-Plus and company’s second stop on their Spring Cleaning tour brought them to one of downtown San Diego’s premier live music bars, the Kava Lounge. The Kava Lounge is a small venue that hosts some big entertainment. As I was walking up to the venue, I was awestruck at the sight of a Boeing 747 descending over the beautifully lit San Diego skyline, and unlike the plane, my night only went up from there.

The show itself was an experience like no other. A-Plus’ lyrical fluidity and classic, boom bap, hip hop beats transported me from a modern SoCal setting, to the golden age of Bay Area hip hop. My head instinctively rocked to almost every song as the truly experienced MC showcased his ability to handle a mic and ride a beat. He played songs spanning all the way from the early ‘90s to his upcoming album collaboration featuring Knobody, titled “Grow Theory.” Knobody joined the rapper on stage. The duo’s back-and-forth style was truly captivating and reinforced the old school hip hop vibe. The Souls of Mischief rapper seemed at home on stage, and rightfully so, given that he has been doing this for decades. To conclude the show, he performed one of his group’s most beloved hits, “93 ‘till Infinity.” This was the moment I had been waiting for. This song features one of the most legendary hip hop beats on record. It was truly an honor to witness a living legend masterfully weave his words within rhyme and rhythm over such a historic instrumental. Given the small nature of the venue, at times it felt like the rapper was speaking directly to me, and that made for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. A-Plus performed for the intimate crowd with just as much passion as he would a crowd 10 times its size; even though the quantity of space was limited, the quality of the performance did not suffer.

Overall, I went to go see an A-Plus show, and that is exactly what I got: an A+ show. Twenty-four years ago, A-Plus said, “you will see, from now ’til infinity.” And, he seems to be keeping his word.

 

In the Closet of: Ayana Jimenez

Meet Ayana:

24-year-old Ayana Jimenez was born and raised in the Philippines, but she moved to Seattle, WA last summer. I met her at Coachella Weekend 2, and her style was too good not to capture. Two out of three of her outfits were original creations – she’s in the process of creating her own clothing line! Ayana loves to travel, dance and take photos. She was most excited to see Bon Iver at Coachella. Her dream job would be a professional dancer. In ten years, Ayana hopes to be “settled in,” hopefully by the beach.

How would you describe your style?

My style usually goes with how I feel. It could go from bohemian to sexy, girly to preppy, casual to elegant. Mixing and matching color palettes is my favorite thing to play with.

What inspires, or influences, your style?

I get inspired by my surroundings – color palettes of buildings, landmarks, sunsets, trees, deserts, skies, etc. Some [of my styles] are influenced by past fashion trends.

How did you decide that you wanted to start a clothing line?

I simply wanted to create clothes that inspire the free spirit – something that could work for everyone.

How would you describe your line? What kind of pieces are you hoping to put out?

I don’t have a line at the moment. [My cousin and I] are in the process of experimenting, and hopefully we’ll slowly put it out when we’re ready. For the line of dresses, we were thinking of something that has a gypsy, island girl feel to it, with subtle, elegant cuts or slits here and there. We want a lot of looks that tie around the body and waist, so it can work freely for anyone. My cousin, Alexis Jimenez, is currently working on a collection of sexy and elegant robes.

What has been the hardest thing about this process? What has been the most fun?

It’s a challenge to find the right fabrics and patterns. The fun part is seeing the actual product come to life.

Where do you see your clothing line going?

We could see it starting out online, and then moving into boutiques. Hopefully, we’ll be partnering with brands in the future.

What’s your favorite current trend?

Tattered jeans and denim. I love seeing sneakers!

Featured Image by Alexis Jimenez.